Brett Sokol is a journalist based in Miami Beach, where he is currently the arts editor at Ocean Drive magazine. His writing on cultural issues has also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald, The New York Observer, New York magazine, The Awl, Slate, and not least, Boy's Life. For links to published work, see Journalism.
Raised in New York, he received a B.A. in History from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a M.A. in History from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. While completing his masters thesis on the lesser-known Midwest chapters of the Weather Underground, he also worked as a senior writer at the Cleveland Free Times. There he covered the cultural waterfront, from the then-burgeoning local militia movement to the emergence of Rust Belt Chic. His features on Cleveland's underground music scene received the award of Best Arts Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Since 1999 he has lived in Miami Beach, where he is now Ocean Drive magazine’s arts editor. His writing on Miami's over-the-top cultural whirl -- as well as its equally colorful political drama -- has continued to win awards. His chronicling of the city's art world, from its sleepy pre-Art Basel stirrings to its current international attention, was named Best Criticism by the Society of Professional Journalists; a series of dispatches from Havana, Cuba were named Best Foreign Reporting by the SPJ.
He has been featured as an expert commentator on a variety of media outlets, including ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, National Public Radio, and Britain’s BBC. Additionally, he has served as a frequent emcee for the annual Miami Book Fair, conducting onstage interviews before a live audience with literary figures from Kurt Andersen and Dexter Filkins to Iggy Pop and John Waters.
Sokol has also done extensive consulting work for nonprofit arts organizations, including Brooklyn's ArtPlace America and Miami's Knight Foundation. His analysis of the ArtPlace-funded Collinwood Rising initiative in Cleveland will be published in late 2018. His report for the Knight Foundation on their funding of the O, Miami annual poetry festival is online; a comprehensive look at the over $100 million in arts funding which Knight has distributed since 2008 is also online.
He is also the co-founder and editor of Letter16 Press, a non-profit publishing house focused on the sweet spot between photojournalism and art.